A Sign of the Times: Why Red Flags Emojis Are Flooding Socials

·2-min read
Photo credit: Peter Lehmann / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Peter Lehmann / EyeEm - Getty Images

To quote the wise philosopher, Whoopi Goldberg, "Molly, you in danger, girl." If you've been frequenting social media in the past couple weeks (first off, log off), then you might have noticed that there are red flagsβ€”of the emoji kindβ€”all over Twitter. TikTok. Sometimes Instagram. Sort of on Facebook. (Let's be honest, when a meme reaches Facebook, it's nearing its drop dead date, anyway.) The reason being is that the red flag is the meme du jour. Meme? Means of speaking? Who knows anymore.

The red flag emoji meme has certainly been used before this week, but has exploded in popularity in the past couple of weeks. On Tuesday, Twitter reported that 1.5 million tweets went out containing the red flag, with a gargantuan 455 percent increase of use of the emoji. All because the word "danger" is too long to type out. Damn.

For anyone unfamiliar with the significance of a "red flag," it's a sign of danger and warning. Do not pass GO, it's saying, because there's something bad ahead. And while that origin ties back to the beach and how a red flag signals dangerous conditions, it's often colloquially used in regard to relationships, which is the energy that originally inspired the meme.

What is your red flag? Mine is someone who hates Diet Coke. Someone who only watches prestige TV. Has a gluten allergy but no official diagnosis of Celiac disease. Some people's are understandably more intense, and social media is currently flooded with everyone's least favourite warning sign.

Oh, and then brands got involved. An early sign of meme death.

It's a meme as simple as the coded language it represents, so go forth. Stay educated. Let the world know where you draw the line and start getting suspicious. But do it quickly because if Dr. Pepper are already sniffing out the trend, then the meme should be on Facebook in no time.

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